Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Life is Just a Bowl of Chocolate Covered Cherries: 4 Recipes for National Chocolate Covered Cherries Day!

Life is just a Bowl of Chocolate Covered Cherries! Because there's nothing quite like a chocolate covered cherry, I thought I'd post 4 recipes for Chocolate Covered Cherries Day. Don't have time to make these? Buy your favorite chocolate covered cherries to celebrate!

When I was growing up, I always wanted the chocolate covered cherry in the Whitman Sampler Box. Although there was a diagram on the inside lid of the box of the types of chocolates, my sister would often move the cherry ones. Worse--sometimes she nibbled the different chocolates to see what they were--and then put them back in the box. Oh, childhood!

Some history of Chocolate Covered Cherries: According to National Day, in the 1700s in England, cherries were enrobed in chocolate with a little kirsch liqueur. After finding their way to the United States, Americans received them quite well, delighting in the little bit of alcoholic cordial surrounding the fruit dipped in chocolate. Although originally made with the liqueur, cordials/chocolate covered cherries are more commonly made with a sugar syrup flavored with cherries. The pitted cherries have been cooked in sugar syrup and jarred.

I can buy fresh cherries in January at Berkeley Bowl, my favorite produce market here in Berkeley, but if you're a locavore, you may not want to buy Chilean Cherries or even have them available where you live, so I've also provided recipes for dried or maraschino cherries. If you decide to use maraschino cherries, be sure and dry them thoroughly or your chocolate will seize. And, if you're using maraschino cherries, save the juice from the jar to make the Chocolate Covered Cherry Cocktail in this post! My favorite jarred cherries are Chukar Cherries. So many varieties. Any of these recipes would be great for Valentine's Day, so bookmark this page!

1. Chocolate Covered Fresh Cherries

Personally I like dark chocolate with cherries, but if you're a milk chocolate fan, go for it! As always, use the very best quality, organic, fair trade chocolate! Hint: If the melted chocolate starts to harden  before you’re done dipping, put it back on the stove for a few minutes and give it a good stir.

8 ounces chocolate (I use Guittard 65%)
1/2 pound fresh, sweet cherries

Wash and dry cherries.
Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Melt chocolate in top of double boiler or in saucepan over saucepan over simmering water.
Stir chocolate until completely melted and smooth.
Remove chocolate from heat.
Grab each cherry by stem and dip into chocolate. Swirl cherry clockwise, coating bottom 3/4. It's always nice to see the cherry showing at the top.
Place cherry on parchment paper covered baking sheet.
Repeat with remaining cherries.
Place in refrigerator until chocolate hardens.
If not eating right away, put chocolate covered cherries in covered container and keep in refrigerator for a few days.

2. Chocolate Covered Marschino Cherries

Use the above recipe with maraschino cherries. Just be sure and dry cherries thoroughly before dipping.

3. Chocolate Covered Dried Cherries

8 ounces Dark or Milk Chocolate
1 cup dried Cherries (Chukar or Trader Joe's)

Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Melt chocolate in double boiler as above or glass bowl in microwave. Once melted, remove from heat.
Add cherries to chocolate. Stir until coated.
Remove clumps of coated dried cherries with two forks or slotted spoon (this works very well), shaking off excess chocolate on side of bowl. Transfer to lined baking sheet.
Put baking sheet in refrigerator until chocolate hardens, about 20 minutes.
Store in refrigerator.

Feel like something alcoholic to celebrate National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day? Want to drink your Chocolate Covered Cherries?

And here's a fourth easy recipe for Chocolate Covered Cherries from Santa Barbara Chocolate

4. Easy Chocolate Covered Cherries

60 maraschino cherries with stems
3 tablespoons butter softened
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 1/2 pounds candy-making chocolate

Drain cherries thoroughly on paper towel. Combine butter, corn syrup, and salt. Stir in powdered sugar; knead mixture till smooth (chill mixture if too soft).
Shape 2 teaspoon of the sugar mixture around each cherry. Place coated cherries on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper (or parchment paper), chill.
In a heavy 1 quart saucepan, melt chocolate over low heat, stirring constantly (use the microwave on low to melt more quickly). Holding by the stems, dip coated cherries, one at a time, into chocolate coating. Spoon chocolate over cherries to coat to ensure the center is fully encased. Place cherries on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper (or parchment paper). Chill. Store in refrigerator in a covered container. Let candies ripen in refrigerator for one or two weeks before serving.....If you can wait!
Want to drink your Chocolate Covered Cherries? 

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cocktail

Fill a tall glass with ice.
Add 1/2 ounce Bailey's, 1/2 ounce Kahlua.
Add a few drops maraschino cherry juice.
Strain into another glass with ice.
Add a Chocolate Covered Maraschino Cherry for garnish!

And here are some retro Chocolate Covered Cherries Ads.. Enjoy!

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